The Voice of the Launderette Industry
The National Association of the Launderette Industry (NALI) is the United Kingdom Trade Association representing not only owners and operators of high-street launderettes, but also any individual, company or organization offering self-service laundry or dry-cleaning facilities to the public.
Camping and Caravan sites,
and many more!
NALI has been servicing the needs of this vital service industry for over 70 years. It is recognised by, and maintains contact with:
Health and Safety Executive
NALI monitors and takes appropriate action in response to legislation and other issues affecting launderette operations.
Controlled by an elected all-volunteer Council of Management comprised of experienced launderette owners and representatives of the industry's principal supplier companies, NALI provides a wide range of exclusive benefits for its members.
The first launderette is believed to have opened in 1936 in Fort Worth, Texas. Known as a Washateria (a conjunction of wash - and [caf]eteria) there was an early chain of shops in Texas with this name. The term 'laundromat' became widely used in the United States as it became a genericized trademark of the Westinghouse Electric Corporation, who supplied equipment for many of the early stores.
The UK had to wait until May 9th, 1949 for the first launderette to open at 184, Queensway, London, which is still a thriving, busy shop although there was an earlier attempt in Liverpool using domestic machines. The sector grew steadily over the next three decades, peaking at around 12,500 in the early 1980's but the reduction in cost of domestic machines coupled with the almost universal 'necessity' of a home washing machine has lead to a reduction in numbers.
However, the launderette is still important for many, and vital for some, and every town can support at least one well-run shop to cater for students, those in rented accommodation with no machine provided, people with little time or inclination to launder at home and the elderly or disabled who are unable to manage it. Of course there are always items like duvets and bedspreads that are too large to fit in a domestic washer, and launderettes are a welcome saviour when the domestic machine breaks down.
In 1951 the National Association of Launderette Owners (NALO) was established, but there were regional Associations as well including MALA (Manchester Area) and LOLA (London Owners). NALO was re-named NALI and incorporated in 1956. The regional Associations were gradually amalgamated into NALI along with NOLA (Northern Launderette Association) and is the premier representative body of the industry in the UK.
The original subscribers named on the Articles of Association were:
Douglas F Weare,
L. H. S. Richardson,
M. K. Little,
H. A. Sharpe,
E. N. Fennell and
Stanley S. Bloom
Washateria Fort Worth Texas, 1936
Central Wash, Queensway, London
Bendix Launderette, 1950, Queensway, London, now known as central wash.
Meet The Council Members
P. Morrow - Chairman
Peter has been involved with launderettes since the 1990s, and has also spent several years running a commercial laundry. In 2007 he acquired the vending machine arm of Brookfords, now known as soapvendors.com.
Peter joined the Council in 2011 and was elected Chairman of the Membership and Promotions Sub-committee in 2014, and is an Elected Representative of NALI suppliers. He was elected NALI Chairman in 2020.
B. Herring - Former Editor Of Launderette and Cleaning World
Bruce has a long history in sales, initially selling IBM office products and later, coincidentally, commercial laundry equipment for Automations International. A brief period with Warner Howard (Coinamatic) followed after Automations was incorporated into their group which led to him joining Armstrong Commercial Laundry Systems as area sales manager leading to a fruitful career of 25 years until retirement in February 2014. During this time became involved with the construction and operation of many launderettes, including his own, an interest which is undiminished to this day. This contrasted somewhat with his earlier endeavours with the then Moss Empires, learning the business of running theatres including the illustrious London Palladium followed by a brief foray into the world of rock band management and concert promotion.
Bruce was NALI Chairman from 2005 to 2020, and is an Elected Representative of NALI direct members. He edited the NALI Journal, Launderette World, from 2009 to 2022.
A.R. Duckworth - President and Webmaster
Tony’s family business was established by his parents over fifty years ago. Having worked in the Lancashire business for 25 years he is a fount of useless information about the launderette industry. He puts this to good use trying to entertain members who attend the November NoLA/NALI meetings in Manchester. Serving on the NALI Council since 1999, Tony is an Elected Representative of NoLA. He previously served as President from 2005 to 2020, having been NALI Chairman before that.
Mrs M. Simons - Vice-Chairman
Mary and her husband became members of LOLA in 1982 after purchasing their first launderette in Waterloo. Living above that first shop they purchased a second, eventually culminating in a chain of 26 shops. In 2000 they set up AGS Ltd covering all aspects of machinery supply, installation and maintenance together with the youngest of their 3 sons.
Mary has served on the Council since 2003, became Vice-Chairman in 2006 and is an Elected Representative of NALI Supplier Members.
Mrs S. Gamble
Sharon is Managing Director of both Associated Liver Launderettes Ltd, the largest operator of launderettes in the UK and Liver Laundry Equipment Ltd, one of the principal distributors of commercial laundry equipment in the North West of England and North Wales. Sharon has been a council member since 2005 and is an Elected Representative of NALI Group Operators.
Toby has been a NOLA elected member of the NALI council since 2009. He moved into the Launderette industry in 2005 after a career in London working in IT, and currently operates 4 shops in the Manchester area with his Father Guy Wright, a former council member.
S. Stafford - Editor Of Launderette and Cleaning World
Simon is the third generation of SJT Stafford Ltd in Bristol which was created by his grandfather (Stephen J. T. Stafford, a previous Vice President of NALI) in 1967. He has grown up in the launderette industry gaining vast knowledge in all aspects associated with the trade, and joined his father Stephen P. Stafford (Paul), a former Chairman of NALI, in the family business after graduating as a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science from Plymouth university. He hopes to bring a fresh new perspective and ideas to the NALI Council for many years to come. Environment Committee, Website Committee, LCW Committee
Paul's father, Stephen Stafford, purchased his first launderette at Melksham, Wiltshire in 1969. Over the next fifteen years the business grew to owning 36 launderettes in the south West. Paul joined his father's business in 1981 after qualifying as a production engineer and working for Hawker Siddeley. He took a evening course in business studies, whilst working for the family business, and became Managing Director in 1985. Paul was previously on the NALI Council from 1985 to 2012, and Chairman of NALI from 1998 to 2002. With son Simon (above) he runs launderettes and residential properties in the Bristol area. Energy Committee
Mrs. T. Baker
Taryn has grown up with the launderette industry as part of her family life. She is now the third generation to work in the family business; the Washbowl Launderettes. After graduating with a Masters in Earth Sciences from the University of Cambridge she spent 7 years working in the electricity industry ultimately specialising in renewable energy investment. Since 2018 Taryn has been back working for the family business and brings a fresh perspective on ways to reduce the carbon footprint and modernise the business. Environment Committee, Health & Safety Committee